back to article Peers question experts over UK police use of AI, facial recognition tech

Members of the House of Lords are looking at the role technologies such as AI and facial recognition have in modern policing methods and law enforcement. The Justice and Home Affairs Committee announced in May that it planned to probe the matter and has already heard one round of oral evidence in June from legal experts as it …

  1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    “It’s not like human intelligence,” he said. He then went further, adding that the technology is “brittle” and can fail in unexpected ways

    Just ask anyone behind the wheel of a supposedly self-driving car.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Repeat that with a straight face after watching this:

      I'm pretty sure any current AI driving system would be better than this.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Computer as authority

      For years agencies have been telling customers "the computer says you are wrong" as though the computer knows best.

      Finally after years of bad coding logical errors and devhouse lies and cover ups the idea that computers are really only as good as the code they are provided has got through.

      Take the Post offices Horizon system where the innocent were branded thieves, resulting in prison sentences and suicides, we now know who was to blame and yet those responsible have are not in the prison they inflected upon the innocent.

      When a person makes false claims against some innocent there are laws to handle this but with computer systems UK law fails to meet the same standards.

      Most people know that facial recognition is not 100% accurate in the same way that genetic evidence and finger prints were before them and yet there have been a lot of people put in prison because these absolute proofs turned out to be far less than absolute after all.

      Add in the reality that agencies holding these records have a bad record for maintaining the security, accuracy and privacy of the data they hold and you are left with the situation that due to lack of oversight all electronic data should really be held as suspect until proven otherwise.

      Proven by people who will themselves be punished if they get it wrong top to bottom, without this then there can be no balance in the law where it comes to computer data and without balance there can be no justice.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Minority Report

    The Government have exhausted the George Orwell Instruction Manual so they're now working their way through the Philip K. Dick Song Book.

  3. scrubber


    So because police in the past were racist in their policing the dataset used to train the AI will be racist too and that will be fine because it is impartial AI? Or will they fix for historic racism and suddenly we see loads of Japanese being arrested and held without bail as they have historically been under-represented in UK crime?

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Stop calling it AI !

    It is not Artificial Intelligence in any way, shape or form.

    It is statistical analysis, that's all.

    Call it what it is, that will do wonders to dehumanize it.

    Of course, marketing won't like that.

  5. Scott Broukell

    It is high time that we all have permanent QR codes tattooed onto our foreheads is it not! The gubermint has missed a trick in recent times by not insisting such indelible markings be done when administering a vaccine! Otherwise the QR roll out should be started at birth, or soonish thereafter. By implementing this cost effective and simple, low tech solution, the scanners, databases and cameras would all start to work flawlessly! Or, at least, better flawlessly than wot they do at present! I commend the motion to the house. Ain't it the truth tho - just a thought /s

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Why a tattoo? Just pop a microchip into vaccine. I mean people ride those scooters and it's not difficult to land headfirst and have all that QR code left on the pavement. Microchip is more difficult to extract.

      Microchips should be cheaper to read as well and could be installed in the pavements, door frames, buses.

      1. tip pc Silver badge

        My dog has a microchip. Doesn’t stop him being a bad boy!!

  6. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    No thanks

    Back in the 60s and 70s I read dozens of SciFi stories, based on the myriad ways this can go wrong.

    I really don't want to see occasional fiction become common fact.

  7. Winkypop Silver badge

    AI and the Plod?

    And I thought they still hadn’t cracked Natural Intelligence yet

  8. tiggity Silver badge

    Never mind "AI"

    The quote:

    "There is no technology that will come along and solve domestic violence or enable us to predict burglaries successfully 100 per cent of the time"

    But improvements to the approach of police could...

    How often do we read of a woman complaining to police she is being harassed by her partner or recent ex, police do little, and weeks or months later, the woman is found dead?

    (.. Yes, I know domestic violence can work in all sorts of ways, but this type (female victim) tends to get reported the most.)

    Early intervention could make a difference in many domestic violence cases.

    .. as for burglaries, if police actually made a serious effort / allocated enough staff to investigate them things might improve a lot.

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